The Key Question

Imagine if a very important prospective customer were to ask you, "What is it about your product or service that is different, better, and superior to any other similar product or service offered by any other company in today's market?" How would you answer? If you had to explain how and why your product or service is superior to that of your competitors, what would you say?

Many salespeople, and even business owners, are not sure about the answer to this question. But you must be absolutely clear about your competitive advantage if you want to make more sales in an increasingly competitive market.

As an individual, doing personal strategic planning for your own career, you must ask this question of yourself. What unique skills do you have that make you superior to anyone else offering to do the same job that you are doing? What skills would it be useful for you to have? If you are not currently excellent in your field, what steps do you need to take, beginning immediately, to get yourself to the point where you stand out from everyone else?

> Identify Your Ideal Customers

The third strategic area in business is that of segmentation. This requires that you divide your markets and customers into segments. You do this by identifying those customers who can most benefit from your area of specialization and your competitive advantage within that area.

In segmentation, you identify your ideal customers. Who are they? Where are they? What do they have in common? What are their ages, incomes, education levels, backgrounds, positions, experiences, and so on? Today, more and more marketing is focused on niches and microniches. Sales and marketing are increasingly personal and individual, aimed at tightly defined groups of prospective customers with special qualities and characteristics. Who are your ideal customers?

Business Brain

Business Brain

Among the hardest transitions for individuals is to move from the employee to the entrepreneur mentality. The idea of getting on your own, getting your own business is fantastic. It's the desire of a lot of individuals to leave their jobs and get to be successful business owners.

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